Category: UFC / MMA

UFC / MMA News

Full UFC 249: Ferguson vs. Gaethje fight card unveiled

UFC 249 may not be moving forward fully as planned, but UFC President Dana White has thus far followed through on his promise to put together a fight card which he intends to have take place on April 18.Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov had been slated to defend against Tony Ferguson in Brooklyn, N.Y., but COVID-19 concerns nixed that location. The pandemic restrictions also forced Nurmagomedov off of the fight card.White didn’t give up on the event, however, eventually finding a location where it could take place in the United States. He has yet to reveal where that location is. According to ESPN, not even the fighters or managers have been looped in on the location yet. It is believed to be somewhere along the West Coast of the U.S. and expected to serve as a de facto UFC home base for follow-up events beyond UFC 249 until operations able to return to some semblance of normalcy.The revamped fight card has a new headliner. White revealed midday on Monday that Ferguson would now face fellow contender Justin Gaethje for an interim lightweight championship on April 18.Monday evening, the rest of the UFC 249 fight card was released, including bouts such as the rematch between former strawweight champions Jessica Andrade and Rose Namajunas, Francis Ngannou vs. Jair Rozenstruik, Jacare Souza vs. Uriah Hall, and several other bouts.In all, the UFC 249 fight card currently has a slate of 12 bouts, and is still expected to be a Pay-Per-View offering via the ESPN+ app.* * *TRENDING > Editorial: UFC 249 is not about Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson* * * UFC 249: Ferguson vs. Gaethje full fight card * Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje* * Jessica Andrade vs. Rose Namajunas * Vicente Luque vs. Niko Price * Jeremy Stephens vs. Calvin Kattar * Francis Ngannou vs. Jair Rozenstruik * Uriah Hall vs. Ronaldo Souza * Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan De Castro * Alexander Hernandez vs. Omar Morales * Marlon Vera vs. Ray Borg * Khama Worthy vs. Michael Johnson * Sijara Eubanks vs. Sarah Moras * Ryan Spann vs. Sam Alvey*For the interim UFC lightweight championship

UFC home state Nevada suspended combat sports until further notice

The UFC has the capability to hold its own closed-door events on its Las Vegas campus – including full production equipment – but it won’t be able to utilize its facilities to hold events for the foreseeable future.Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Bob Bennett informed MMAWeekly.com on Sunday that the state has suspended all unarmed combat sports (such as mixed martial arts and boxing) until further notice. The athletic commission initially put unarmed combat sports on hold on March 14 pending a March 25 commission meeting where its response to the COVID-19 pandemic would be further solidified. The March 25 meeting was scrapped when Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak on March 22 shutdown public meetings in the state, along with all non-essential businesses, until at least April 16. With U.S. President Donald Trump extending nationwide social distancing recommendations until at least April 30, it is likely that Nevada and other states will also extend their orders.Regardless, Bennett told MMAWeekly.com that there was no direct timeline for unarmed combat sports to return to Nevada. The NSAC will follow the guidance of “the science regarding COVID-19” as it moves forward. Nevada Athletic Commission statement on unarmed combat sports: “As of this date (Sunday, April 5) the NSAC will not have any Unarmed Combat events until further notice. We will listen and follow the science regarding COVID-19 and move forward with events accordingly. The health and safety of the fighters, their camps, the fans and our staff is the number one priority.”* * *TRENDING > Dana White denies fake Khabib-Putin report, but insists UFC 249 happening* * * How is the UFC moving forward?UFC President Dana White had initially planned to move several events to its APEX facility at its headquarters in Las Vegas, but those plans were scrapped rather quickly when it became apparent that Nevada wasn’t likely to approve such a move.UFC APEX has built-in, advanced production capabilities with an arena space that can be configured to accommodate a variety of live events. But as long as the NSAC is unable to oversee events in the state, the UFC will be unable to produce live events at APEX or at any other Las Vegas venue. No unarmed combat sports promoter will be able to hold an event in Nevada until the order changes.As of Sunday, White was still intending to move forward with UFC 249 on April 18, though he has yet to unveil a revised fight card or a location.

Dana White denies fake Khabib-Putin report, but insists UFC 249 happening

A Tweet on Sunday reported that UFC President Dana White reached a deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin that would bring Khabib Nurmagomedov to the United States for UFC 249 on April 18.While the tweet appeared to be “breaking news” from ESPN reporter Ariel Helwani, it was actually the work of a troll that set up an authentic looking fake account.Despite the fake news from the fake account, White responded, shooting down the tweet, but indicating that UFC 249 was still going to take place with a fight card to be revealed on Monday. That had yet to happen at the time of publication. The initial fake tweet:BREAKING: Dana White and Vladimir Putin have reached an agreement on travel arrangements for UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov to come to the United States. He will fight Tony Ferguson. It’s happening folks. UFC249 will go on as scheduled April 18. Dana White’s reply to the fake tweet:Absolutely NOT true!!! The card is happening but @TeamKhabib (Khabib Nurmagomedov) is out. I will announce the entire card tomorrow. A quick UFC 249 timelineThe UFC 249 fight card was originally slated to feature Nurmagomedov putting his lightweight title on the line opposite Tony Ferguson on April 18 in Brooklyn, N.Y. The first domino to fall was the state of New York telling White that UFC 249 would not be allowed in the anywhere in the state on April 18. White then began searching for a new location, of which he has said there were several options.In the meantime, Nurmagomedov flew back to Russia via Abu Dhabi, where he initially thought the event would be held, only to be put into the midst of a countrywide lockdown.UFC officials then moved on to try and find a new opponent for Furgeson. Most speculation has settled on Justin Gaethje as the likely candidate for the bout.White was part of a conference call with U.S. President Donald Trump and several other sports league officials, but that apparently hasn’t dissuaded him from trying to move ahead with UFC 249 in some fashion on April 18.* * *TRENDING > UFC President Dana White reportedly named as a victim in sex-tape case* * *

What is the status of UFC 249 after Dana White attends President Trump’s call with sports leagues?

U.S. President Donald Trump held a conference call with the heads of all the major sports leagues across the country on Saturday, including UFC president Dana White. “We have to open our country again.” – President TrumpThough everyone in the mixed martial arts world was wondering if the call would mean the final nail in the coffin for UFC 249, as of late Saturday afternoon, there was no clear answer.“The President recognized the good work being done by many teams and players to care for their communities, workforces, and fan bases across the Nation,” read a White House statement after the call. “The commissioners thanked President Trump for his national leadership and for his interest in the sports industry. President Trump encouraged them to continue to support their fellow Americans during this challenging time.”President Trump spoke with league heads which reportedly included White as well as Adam Silver of the NBA, Cathy Engelbert of the WNBA, Rob Manfred of MLB, Roger Goodell of the NFL, Gary Bettman of the NHL, Jay Monahan of the PGA, Vince McMahon of WWE, John Middlebrook or Jim France of NASCAR, and Don Graber of MLS.According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, President Trump told the league representatives that he hopes to have fans back in stadiums and arenas by August and September. “They want to get back. They’ve got to get back…. We want to get back soon, very soon.”White has been working feverishly to keep UFC 249 intact in some form or fashion for April 18, although main eventer Khabib Nurmagomedov is all but ruled out because of being on lockdown in Russia. There has been talk of Nurmagomedov’s opponent, Tony Ferguson, instead squaring off against the likes of Justin Gaethje or Dustin Poirier, plus other bouts being shifted to the UFC 249 fight card, but White has admitted to numerous new hurdles every day.President Trump saying that he hoped to have fans back in stadiums and arenas by August and September might be an indicator that UFC 249 will not take place, but not necessarily, as White has already conceded that if it were to happen on April 18, UFC 249 would take place without an audience.What might be a more cryptic indicator of whether or not UFC 249 will happen would be a promotional video that White released on Saturday, asking for fans to try and win an opportunity to be his guest at a future pay-per-view. During the video, White said, “Hey guys, this is your last chance to enter to win two VIP tickets to any pay-per-view event of your choosing this year. And you know once everything gets back to normal, we’re going to start cranking out some killer fights. And you must be so sick of sitting at home right now. You know you wanna come on this trip.”That, of course, isn’t clear cut either, and there has been no statement from UFC officials saying whether or not White is still working on making UFC 249 happen on April 18. The mixed martial arts world, like so many other sports, remains in a holding pattern.* * *TRENDING > UFC 249 is not about Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson* * * What does Dana White’s video tweet mean for UFC 249?(Subscribe to MMAWeekly.com on YouTube)